FOCUS GROUPS

Immigrant Health | Alexandria Valdrighi, MD & Vini Vijayan, MD, FAAP & Edith Bracho-Sanchez, MD 
Similar to other health conditions that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations of color, COVID-19 has inequitably affected the health and livelihoods of immigrant families and children. The COVID-19 pandemic amplifies existing inequities and introduces new ones as immigrant families navigate school closures, lack of health insurance and paid leave, and decisions to seek medical care or public services amid ongoing immigration enforcement. In this session, we will highlight the ways immigrant children are being unequally impacted by COVID-19 and discuss the steps pediatricians and other child health advocates can take to speak up on behalf of immigrant communities.

Advocacy Skill: Story-telling, Media Engagement

Climate Change and Health | Hop Hopkins and Kari Nadeau, MD

Climate change is a serious threat to the physical and mental health of children in California. Due to environmental racism, climate change's harms already fall disproportionately on children in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities on the front lines of fossil fuel air pollution, heat and water stress, changing patterns of infectious disease, and displacement due to wildfires. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to protect clean air and a safe environment for children is more essential than ever. This session will build pediatricians’ skills in communicating about the climate crisis and advocating for climate solutions. We will learn from experienced climate, child health and racial justice advocates about the intersectionality between these issues and how pediatricians can ally with the youth-led climate movement and influence voters through storytelling. We will begin to develop our own stories about climate change and child health equity, and we will provide a platform to share these stories with voters in this critical election season.

Advocacy Skill: Story-telling, Voter Education

Mental Health | Diane Dooley, MD, MHS, FAAP & Joan Jeung, MD, MPH, FAAP

Structural racism, poverty, educational inequities, and child abuse all contributed to an epidemic of mental health disorders before the pandemic. Now with the triple impact of enhanced familial stress, remarkable economic insecurity and loss of school and community supports, we are witnessing early signs of an enhanced mental health crisis for children and teens in our practices.  In this session, we will explore the benefits of working with the health system, community, AAP and/or governmental partners to advocate for enhanced and culturally responsive mental health services for children and teens.  A resource list of influential committees and collaboratives will be presented, and attendees will be asked to share their experiences with these, and other policy-change organizations. We will also discuss the unwritten rules of organizational participation and leadership that lead to effective change.

Advocacy Skill: Coalition Building

School Health | Renee Wachtel, MD, FAAP & Noemi Spinazzi, MD, FAAP & Hannah Perrin, MD

COVID 19 has put School Health on the front burner for all pediatricians, due to the complexities and uncertainties that are presented. The need for pediatricians to step up and advocate for their patients with schools, school systems and legislators cannot be underestimated.  This applies to preschool programs, K-12 programs and colleges as well. This applies to regular education, special education, and children with special health care needs. How can we make sure that our patients get the education that they need, while keeping them and their families safe from COVID? What are the best practices for forming school health policy and how can you effectively engage in that process? We will discuss current  school health policies and relevant legislation, and potential advocacy resources for you and your patients. 

Advocacy Skill: Community Partnerships & Collaboration

Legislative Advocacy | Zarah Iqbal, MD, MPH & Jacques Corriveau, MD FAAP & Kris Calvin 
Concrete tips to enable you to be an effective child health and wellness advocate in under 15 minutes a month! Workshop participants will receive time-efficient advocacy tips  from experienced AAP California advocacy leaders to enable them to be effective and powerful advocates for children despite the many demands of  their busy lives. Skill training will include how to  use online tools to locate and understand  current legislative proposals relating to children and  pediatrics, and how to make your voice heard, quickly and powerfully, by policymakers on the issues you care most about.

Advocacy Skill: Policy Engagement

Child Abuse | Casey L. Brown, MD, FAAP

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment of unprecedented stress for families, exacerbated underlying health and social disparities and increased risk for family violence and child maltreatment. This work shop will focus on the unique features of child abuse and neglect in the era of COVID-19 and highlight ways to advocate for this vulnerable, often difficult to reach population.

Advocacy Skill: Building Community Awareness

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